One thing that really brought my husband and I together even as naïve high school kids was our drive to succeed. We are both fiercely competitive in different ways, but always competing with ourselves to be better. We recognized this in one another even as teenagers and, for me, it was the most attractive thing. Ambition is so sexy! Get you a man with big dreams!
My high school flame had a 6-year professional baseball career. When that ended due to injury, he pursued a career in the fire service which was “impossible” because “everyone is trying to be a firefighter.” Harder than becoming a pro athlete? We’ll see.
I had two toddlers at home and worked 2 jobs when I decided to go after the highest degree in my field. My firefighter husband was never home. NO ONE thought the timing was right. Fortunately, I didn’t give a damn what they thought. I got that degree before my son finished preschool and picked up a 3rd job along the way. BOOM.
The term “haters” wasn’t really a thing back in Y2K, I think they were called “naysayers.” But fast forward 20 years – after all we have accomplished – and we still have people close to us saying:
- Your dreams are not realistic
- That will be too much for you
- You can’t handle it
- This is bad for your kids
- Self-care is selfish
- Stick with safe, certain, and comfortable
- Don’t challenge the status quo
- You’re working/exercising too much
- This is how we’ve always done it
- Career = Self-worth
- Don’t let them see you sweat
- Following your dreams is irresponsible
- Money = Success
- You can’t afford to take risks
- Do you think you’re better than me?
I. could. go. on. Have any of these statements been made to you? Did it come from someone who is supposed to have your back? Why is it that people want to chain you down to stay on their level? They believe your success diminishes theirs. They are SO threatened that you will outshine them as if there isn’t enough light out there to go ‘round?!
Listen up, dear ones. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, BUT YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING. Give up on people pleasing. Quit listening to the critic. Sacrifice your comfort zone. Don’t give up your ambition. Don’t quit on yourself. Don’t sacrifice your confidence so someone else can have theirs. The haters are gonna hate anyway.